2 April 2019

LIFE | Working From Home - FAQS

 
 
Around two years ago I started working from home, as opposed to an office. It feels like yesterday, but also feels like I haven't ever known anything different. I will say this - this is probably the thing I get asked about the most with regards to my professional life. As soon as people hear I work from home, I get soooo many questions. So I thought I'd pop together a little post on the most frequently asked...

ARE YOU FREELANCE?
Nope, definitely note. I even got asked yesterday why the man measuring for my new floor if I was a photographer because my camera was out. That would be cool... But no. I work in marketing, and I'm actually a Marketing Manager for a global company and the office closest to me is based in London - so when I came on board, they contracted me as a remote worker.
 
HOW DID YOU GET TO WORK FROM HOME?
I am very lucky to be able to do this. I worked for another company in London a few years back and had to commute most days - which was exhausting and expensive. And while I loved going in, I always said I would never do it again. I was approached for my current job by my current manager, who I worked with at the previous company - and I said straight off the bat I'm not communiting. She'd worked with me before so she knew she could trust me to actually work, and get stuff done, and as a whole the company has a lot of remote workers so it was already part of the culture.
 
HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE TO GO IN TO THE OFFICE?
There's no set frequency - I have a travel and expenses budget for the year, and this is what I use to determine how much I go up. Ideally, about once a month.
 
HOW DO YOU NOT GET DISTRACTED?
Probably my most asked question! Obviously if you want to work from home you have to be disciplined and it takes some training - especially if you're used to working in an office. When I first started I was in a different house, and my laptop and everything was in my lounge/diner - so wasn't the best environment for working from home. Since we moved to our current house, we made our loft conversion my office - and honestly it makes all the difference. Just having a room that's just about work, so as soon as I enter it - work mode. As soon as I leave it - home mode. If you do want to work from home, that would be my biggest tip, have a separate room that you can shut off from your home life so you don't mix the two. You still need to have that balance.
 
DO YOU JUST WORK IN YOUR PYJAMAS ALL DAY?
Weirdly, probably my second most asked question! No, I don't. I am going to film a day in the life/morning routine on this because I think it'll be interesting. But basically I get up, grab a coffee and come up to check my emails and write my list for the day. Once that's done and my coffee mug is empty, I go back down and get washed and dressed for the day. I can't sit and work in my pj's, it's one of the most unproductive things for me.
 
DON'T YOU GET LONELY?
Of course I do sometimes. I do sometimes feel like I'm missing out on that office atmosphere and the relationships you can make. But - that doesn't mean I don't still chat and talk to my colleagues. Just like anyone else I have a work bestie, and people I always chat to. If I do find I haven't spoken to anyone in person (other than Adam) in a couple days, then I make sure I meet my Mum for lunch, or go and see my friend on maternity. Again, it's finding a balance and a routine. I also tend to have a lot of meetings - so it's very rare I will go a full work day without speaking to anyone I work with.
 
DO YOU FIND YOU WORK LONGER HOURS AT HOME/DON'T TAKE BREAKS?
This all comes down to discipline for me and having certain triggers that make me get off my arse. In terms of longer hours - I wouldn't necessarily say so. I'm a pretty organised person with work, so it's rare I'll have to work later to catch up on anything unless it's an emergency or I'm going to be out of the office for a few days. I tend to log on about 8.30am, which was the same when I was in the office, and I try to be logged off by 5.30pm latest - which is technically longer than my contracted hours. I find if I'm still working when my husband gets home, I've usually got engrossed in something and it's a good trigger to stop for the day. In terms of breaks - I still go down and do coffee breaks, toilet breaks - and I always make sure I take a lunch break. For the longest time I didn't and it just wasn't a healthy way to work. Now I make sure I go down, and I either watch something or I'll film something.
 
DO YOU THINK YOU'LL EVER GO BACK TO WORKING IN AN OFFICE?
I don't know - obviously never say never, but I'm not looking to leave my current role anytime soon. If I ever did, I think I'd have to still have the option from working from home some days a week - have some flexibility - because it just makes life so much easier.
 
WHAT'S THE MOST ANNOYING THING PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU WORKING FROM HOME?
They don't necessarily say it - but I think a lot of people just assume that I don't have as much work to do, and I can get on and do other things while I'm at home. If the house is a mess, I always get - but you work from home, how is your house a mess? It's like I'm working, I'm not doing house work, just like anyone whose in an office. I always get jokes as well about it as well, implying I don't do much work. I make the most of it - my hours are flexible as well so if I want to go for lunch one day I will, if I need to do to the Dr I will - but a lot of people think flexible hours means you don't work. Not the case - I'm far too busy at work to get away with not doing at least my contract hours.
 
WHAT'S THE BEST AND WORST THING?
The best thing probably is the flexibility - if we have someone who needs to come and fix the oven for example, it's not an issue - I'm here to let them in. As I said, if I want to have lunch with a friend or my Mum I can. The worst thing is definitely the social aspect - there's only so much you can talk to the cat.
 
And that's everything! Hope you found this interesting and let me know if you have any other questions about working from home, I'm always happy to answer and reply!
 
Would you ever work from home full time?
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